War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0183 Chapter LXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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arrived with three citizens of Kentucky. The object of his visit was to confer with General Prentiss or myself in relation to the cutting down of a secession flag at Columbus by one of our armed boats, and the sending of an armed party into Kentucky a few days before by General Prentiss. Mr. J. M. Douglass, of Chicago, well known to the President, was present with me during the whole interview, and the line of conversation pursued was nearly the same (it was shorter) as in the interview of June 8. The main diffirence was in the fact that I told those gentlemen that if secession flags were hoisted on the river-bank our people would cut them down, and I would authorize them to do so; also that if they did not prevent the outrages committed on the Union men, our men could not and would not be restrained from aiding them. I this morning telegraphed Mr. Douglass, asking the question whether anything in the Cairo interview justified or confirmed Buckner's letter. His reply was as follows:

At the Cairo interview no word was uttered by you bearing the construction published relative to previous interview at Cincinnati; no allusion made to previous treaty or agreement. I was amazed to read the published correspondence touching an agreement which was not of importance enough to mention at Cairo. You distinctly disclaimed any authority to act, except as you might be ordered by the Government.

I submit this to you with the request that you will ask the President his opinion of the intelligence and reliability of Mr. Douglass; then give his reply, general, the weight you think it worth. Judge Key, who is intimately acquainted with my entire views and action in regard to Kentucky, has written a letter to Secretary Chase which embodies the facts of the case in such a clear form that I cannot do better than to ask you to read it and give it full credence. This transaction has surprised me beyond expression. My chief fear has been that you, whom I regard as my strongest friend in Washington, might have supposed me to be guilty of the extreme of folly. My personal relations with Buckner and my high regard for his character have led me to be more chary, perhaps, in my expressions than my own interests would warrant. I know that you will appreciate and respect the feeling which has distated this course. I shall be fully satisfied if I hear from you that you are not displeased with me, and I trust to my actions of the coming week to show to the people that you have not made a mistake in placing me in the position I now occupy.

I am, general, whatever the result may be, your obliged, sincere, and respectful friend,





Grafton, Va., June 26, 1861.

Lieutenant General WINFIELD SCOTT,

Commanding U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have telegraphed you rather at length in relation to General Buckner's letter referring to our interview at Cincinnati on the 8th of June. In justice to myself I deem it necessary to explain the matter to you more fully. General Buckner several times wrote and telegraphed to me as an ald friend requesting an interview, which I avoided until I received a telegram from Gill, a true Union man, strongly urging an interview. Hoping that my influence over Buckner might possibly reclaim him I reluctantly granted the request, and informed